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The first direct evidence of a Late Devonian coelacanth fish feeding on conodont animals
- Zatoń, Michał, Broda, Krzysztof, Qvarnström, Martin, Niedźwiedzki, Grzegorz, Ahlberg, Per Erik
- Die Naturwissenschaften 2017 v.104 no.3-4 pp. 26
- diet, digestive tract, fish, fossils, mountains, trophic relationships, Poland
- We describe the first known occurrence of a Devonian coelacanth specimen from the lower Famennian of the Holy Cross Mountains, Poland, with a conodont element preserved in its digestive tract. A small spiral and phosphatic coprolite (fossil excrement) containing numerous conodont elements and other unrecognized remains was also found in the same deposits. The coprolite is tentatively attributed to the coelacanth. Although it is unclear whether the Late Devonian coelacanth from Poland was an active predator or a scavenger, these finds provide the first direct evidence of feeding on conodont animals by early coelacanth fish, and one of the few evidences of feeding on these animals known to date. It also expands our knowledge about the diet and trophic relations between the Paleozoic marine animals in general.